Asking urgent questions about drag today, Louche mag takes a critical and constructive approach to drag and queer performance culture: its past, present and future.
Louche hopes to be a project of the community and for the community. As well as aiming to reflect and celebrate existing communities of drag artists, performers, producers and audiences, Louche looks to support and nurture a culture we wish to see and be a part of. This will be done through foregrounding a variety of voices within drag and taking action against racism, transphobia, homonormativity, sexism and ableism where these exist in queer performance practice.
Louche welcomes writing, illustration, photography (and more!) from across the (increasingly problematised) binary divide of ‘King’ and ‘Queen’, recognising the entire spectrum of drag in all its messiness and boundary-pushing, disruptive splendor. We are for queer aesthetics and experiments that transcend what it means to even be/look human!
So much of drag is rooted in the ephemeral reality of live performance and this raises questions around how to capture the art of drag. Taking inspiration from the Documentation Action Research Collective (DARC), who explore how the Photograph can be “an alternative space to the Gallery or the Theatre”, Louche aims to explore the Magazine as a different kind of platform from which to create drag art.
Louche mag will launch in print, a format which feels important not least because it gives queer art a literal weight as a beautiful, fabulous artefact – something to touch, hold, and caress. But because print can also be shared, accessed and archived in ways not limited by algorithms.
Finally, Louche situates itself within a history of magazines as places of dissent, DIY production and anti-corporatism. Likewise Louche draws on the legacy of drag as political action in homage to pioneers of the LGBTQI community such as trans activist Sylvia Rivera, a pivotal figure in the 1969 New York Stonewall riots. And the ghosts of those not remembered by history.
To quote the Riot Grrrl Is… 1991 manifesto, we must “take over the means of production in order to create our own meanings”. We hope this project will enable us to create art on our own terms, and for our own pleasure.